Fraud or Legit?

The following profile of John Grogan has been assembled from documents which can be found below.  This profile strongly suggests that Mr. Grogan is not a Certified Polygraph Examiner, contrary to his advertising.  According to our research, Grogan has never been trained by an Accredited polygraph training facility.  We leave it up to the reader to make their own assessment about Mr. Grogan’s credentials based on the documents presented here. 


2004 – Grogan (a California private investigator) was given an “honorary” polygraph training certificate from American College of Forensic Studies (ACFS) after completing less than 100 hours of polygraph training, according to a letter written by ACFS owner Joseph Paolella.  Paolella’s letter also stated that the ACFS course provided only the “basic knowledge of the theory and application of polygraph principles” and “was not meant to train a person to be a polygraph examiner.”  Click to view the Paolella letter.

IMPORTANT TO NOTE…  Even if Grogan had completed training at ACFS, and even if Paolella’s letter contains incorrect information, completion of training at ACFS would not qualify him (or anyone) to be a polygraph examiner.  Additionally, there is no record of Grogan receiving ANY formal polygraph training (legitimate or otherwise)  prior to 2004, although we are receptive to updating this information if such training can be documented.

NOTE:   American Polygraph Association accreditation standards require a minimum 400 hours of classroom training to become certified.

NOTE:   ACFS was never an APA accredited polygraph training school – Click to view APA letter re ACFS.

2004 – Grogan launched his first website offering his services as a certified polygraph examiner.

2005 – Grogan applied to become a member of the Global Polygraph Network, but was denied membership because he was unable to verify his attendance at an accredited polygraph training program.  Grogan’s application stated that he graduated from American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS) and not American College of Forensic Studies (ACFS), which no longer exists.  Click to view Grogan GPN application.

It is important to note that  AAFS has never been a training facility.  It is not a school.  It is an organization that supports standards of training.  See AAFS Statement HERE.  It is therefore impossible for Grogan to have attended AAFS because it is not a school.

NOTE:   AAFS was never an APA accredited polygraph training school – Click to view APA letter re AAFS.

After being rejected for membership in the Global Polygraph Network, Grogan created Polygraph Examiners of America.

2008 – Grogan filed suit against certain individuals for slander/libel.  In the litigation materials, Grogan’s “Training Certificate” from AAFS was produced, which reflected a completion date of 6/11/2004.  The “certificate” was signed by Joseph Paolella, who operated ACFS.  Note that ACFS was never affiliated with AAFS.  These are two entirely different organizations.

2014 – ACFS filed for bankruptcy, and soon after was shut down for illegal activities.  Read more HERE.  Former owner Joseph Paolella was no longer involved with the school at that time.


John Grogan continues to advertise and provide polygraph services, even though there is no evidence he has ever attended an accredited polygraph training program.  This lack of training means he is not eligible to obtain a polygraph license in any state that offers one, and is not eligible to join any professional polygraph organizations such as the American Polygraph Association, National Polygraph Association, or California Association of Polygraph Examiners.  As a result, Grogan is unable to benefit from the advanced (and required) training offered by these organizations.

Grogan is perhaps best known for providing tests for television reality shows in real time with “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” following each relevant question, but that’s not how polygraph works.  First, APA Standards prohibit testing in front of a live audience.  Second, all questions must be reviewed ahead of time with the person being tested.  Third, each of the relevant questions must be asked at least 3 to 9 times (not including control questions), and then scored following the exam.  The total score of these questions determines the final result.  It is impossible to render a decision with just one presentation of the relevant question.  In other words, polygraph results can not be given in real time.  For these reasons, Grogan’s television “exams” are quite obviously staged.

Grogan claims to have 36 years of polygraph experience, even though his questionable “Training Certificate” is dated 6/11/2004 — significantly less than 36 years ago.

Several informative Yelp reviews can be found HERE.

A YouTube video about Grogan can be found HERE.

A few other Grogan complaints can be found HERE and HERE.


Let the buyer beware.  Please decide for yourself whether Grogan has misrepresented his training and credentials based on the documentation provided.  Interestingly, Grogan’s polygraph abilities can easily be tested by having one of his exams (charts and test materials) submitted for a Quality Control review by an experienced examiner (ideally an APA Instructor), although it unlikely Grogan would ever allow such a QC of his exams. 

Grogan has asserted that there is no value in joining any of the “mainstream” polygraph organizations.  While there is no requirement to join any of these organizations, it is noteworthy that he would not be eligible to join these organizations anyway due to his lack of formal training.

In Grogan’s defense, in California there is no law or regulation preventing anyone from pretending to be a polygraph examiner, unless that fictitious moniker is used to secure a government contract or to submit polygraph evidence or testimony in court.

If anyone can provide us with verifiable documentation that John Grogan has been trained at an APA accredited facility, or can document that any information provided here is incorrect, we will promptly update the related notations.

Here is a link to our page about How to Avoid Polygraph Fraud


Established in 1987, Global Polygraph Network ® is the world’s largest and most trusted polygraph (lie detector) company with services available at hundreds of locations by highly-trained experts all over the world. Avoid “discount” polygraph frauds and “over the phone” testing scams. We only provide real polygraphs by real examiners. Trust our A+ BBB rating, up-front pricing, and written guarantee.